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Pittsburgh at Miami

Venue: Marlins Park

While the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins showed signs of improvement at the plate, they might have a more difficult time against two of baseball's top young pitchers.

The Pirates look for their sixth win in eight games Sunday when Gerrit Cole opposes All-Star Jose Fernandez in battle of impressive rookies in Miami.

After getting shut out by the Marlins (39-63) on Friday, Pittsburgh (61-41) bounced back by scoring seven runs for the second time in three games in Saturday's 7-4 victory.

Catcher Michael McKenry filled in nicely for the injured Russell Martin with a career-high four hits and two RBIs, while Neil Walker added three hits and two RBIs to help the Pirates win for the fifth time in seven games.

McKenry tweaked his left knee and could only trot up the first-base line after grounding to short to open the ninth inning. That could be a concern if Martin isn't able to return from his own knee injury Sunday.

"It's all right,'' McKenry said. "It's just kind of stuck.''

All-Star Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 4 with a triple to end a 2-for-16 slide and Starling Marte was 2 for 5 with a double after going 2 for 28 in his previous seven games.

Pittsburgh, which hit .107 (9 for 84) with runners in scoring position over its previous nine games, went 6 for 17 in those situations Saturday.

The Pirates face a tough test as they look to build on that performance against Fernandez (6-5, 2.74 ERA), who didn't miss a beat in his first start of the second half.

Fernandez struck out eight while holding Colorado to two runs and five hits over seven innings in Tuesday's 4-2 road win.

The right-hander hasn't allowed more than three runs in nine starts since the start of June, with the Marlins winning seven of those outings. He's 4-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 59 1-3 innings over that span.

Fernandez has been even better at Marlins Park, going 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in nine outings there.

This will be only the third road start for Cole (5-3, 3.51), who is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in those two games.

The right-hander snapped a three-start losing streak overall with the best outing of his career Tuesday. He limited Washington to one run and two hits over seven innings with one walk and four strikeouts.

"I mean, he's got that overpowering stuff," said Martin. "When he doesn't give too many free passes and he's able to throw strikes in good locations, he's a tough at-bat.''

Cole hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his eight starts, but the slumping Pirates had given him just four runs of support during his three-start skid.

He'll try to help Pittsburgh complete a 6-4 road trip with a victory over the Marlins, who have batted .283 while winning four of six.

Miami's Giancarlo Stanton continued his tear by going 3 for 4 with a double Saturday. He's 7 for 10 with a homer, three doubles and three RBIs in his last three games.

Teammate Logan Morrison added three hits to break out of a 3-for-28 slump.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Gerrit Cole, RHP
2013 stats
48.2 Innings Pitched 111.2
5-3 Wins-Losses 6-5
3.51 Earned Run Average 2.74
10 Walks 42
29 Strikeouts 111
86 Pitches Per Start 90
Career vs. opponent
- Innings Pitched -
--- Wins-Losses ---
- Earned Run Average -

Jose Fernandez, RHP
weather image  Afternoon clouds. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Pittsburgh3rd NL Central7880.494234-6 W 1
Miami3rd NL East7880.494145-5 L 2
vs Jose Fernandez
vs Gerrit Cole

Related Video

F. CervelliHand
G. ColeElbow
B. CumptonElbow
E. DiazLeg
N. FelizArm
J. HarrisonGroin
K. HayesRibs
S. MarteBack
A. MeadowsOblique
G. PolancoNeck
C. SadlerForearm
A. SchugelShoulder
C. StewartKnee
T. KolekElbow
Series Game Log
Apr 7WASMIA 6-4Phelps Roark 
Apr 9WASPPD   
Apr 10WASWAS 4-2Ross Koehler 
Apr 18MIAMIA 6-1Fernandez Roark 
Apr 19MIAWAS 7-0Strasburg Conley 
Apr 20MIAWAS 3-1Petit Chen 
Apr 21MIAMIA 5-1Koehler Scherzer 
May 13WASWAS 5-3Treinen Barraclough 
May 14WASWAS 6-4Strasburg Nicolino 
May 14WASMIA 7-1Urena Roark 
May 15WASMIA 5-1Fernandez Ross 
May 20MIAWAS 4-1Roark Nicolino 
May 21MIAMIA 3-2Fernandez Ross 
May 22MIAWAS 8-2Scherzer Conley 
Sep 19MIAMIA 4-3Ellington Latos 
Sep 20MIAMIA 1-0Fernandez Roark 
Sep 21MIAWAS 8-3Scherzer Koehler 
Sep 30WAS 7:05 PM EDT  
Oct 1WAS 4:05 PM EDT  
Oct 2WAS 3:05 PM EDT